In the forth part of this series of articles “Help for wild animals in South Africa” I write about Tenikwa. The three previous articles were about Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Jukani which belong to the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA). Similar to these three institutions, Tenikwa cares for wild animals in need and is a sanctuary for injured animals around Plettenberg Bay.
Tenikwa in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
There are two sections in Tenikwa. One is the Tenikwa Awareness Center and the other the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. If you visit the Awareness Center you help finance the rehabilitation program of the sanctuary. Animals in the Awareness Center were mostly born in captivity and cannot be released back into the wild. Some animals came first to the rehabilitation center, but as they could not be released again, Tenikwa transferred them to the Awareness Center.
Staff from the sanctuary cares for animals in the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in order to release them into the wild again. However, as these animals need to remain as wild as possible, it is not allowed to meet these animals. The sanctuary cares for about 230 to 300 animals in the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center every year.
It is important to mention that Tenikwa does not follow any active breeding program. Tenikwa’s most important aims are to educate people about threats wild animals are exposed to, but also fundraising for their rehabilitation program. Although Tenikwa appears like a profit-seeking institution at the first sight, there is a rehabilitation program behind Tenikwa which visitors cannot see. As I was at the ORCA Foundation for three months, I could see a little bit more of Tenikwa’s work. For example, one day we met a veterinary who gave us some more insights about her work at the rehabiliation program. The other day we helped cleaning the penguin pool. However, we were not allowed to see the animals at the Wildlife Rehabiliation Center, neither. These animals need to be as wild as possible.
When I visited Tenikwa I participated in a photographic tour where it was possible to join the daily cheetah morning walk. I participated in this tour, as I thought a walk is important for cheetahs. Tenikwa still offers several tours, including a daily enrichment walk in the forest and fynbos.